You’ll want to see this movie.
Synopsis: It seems to the Teens that all the major superheroes out there are starring in their own movies—everyone but the Teen Titans, that is! But de facto leader Robin is determined to remedy the situation, and be seen as a star instead of a sidekick. If only they could get the hottest Hollywood film director to notice them. With a few madcap ideas and a song in their heart, the Teen Titans head to Tinsel Town, certain to pull off their dream. But when the group is radically misdirected by a seriously super villain and his maniacal plan to take over the Earth, things really go awry. The team finds their friendship and their fighting spirit failing, putting the very fate of the Teen Titans themselves on the line! (DC Entertainment)
Starring: Scott Menville, Greg Cipes, and Khary Payton
Writers: Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic
Directors: Aaron Horvath and Peter Rida Michail
Rating: PG (Canada/United States)
Running Time: 93mins
To answer the obvious question right away, you don’t have to be familiar with the Teen Titans Go! television program in which this film is based to enjoy this film but it definitely wouldn’t hurt if only to get more familiar with some of the characters. For those who don’t know, the Teen Titans consist of Robin (Menville), Beast Boy (Cipes), Cyborg (Payton), Starfire (Hynden Walch), and Raven (Tara Strong). Of course they are all teens who did what any normal teens would do. Being the leader of the group, Robin took the forefront. Robin drove the plot and the other Titans tagged along in what felt like an extended episode of the series.
All the big superheroes have their own movies so it was up to Robin’s sheer determination to get the Teen Titans the notoriety they deserved. To get that notoriety and recognition, Robin believed they needed their own movie. On a personal level, he wanted to be seen as more than a sidekick. Their quest to get their own movie took the Titans to Hollywood where they brought their shenanigans with them. In order to get their movie, the Titans would need an archnemesis, cue Slade (Will Arnett). Slade and the Titans went toe to toe with each other, exchanging lots of funny banter along the way. Things eventually came together by the end with a satisfyingly ridiculous conclusion that fit with everything that the film was trying to do up to that point.
While the film features juvenile humor that would be fitting for the teenage characters, there wasn’t as much of it as one would expect since it also features plenty of meta humor that would rival that of the Deadpool films. It was a shame that the film was marketed using a lot of lowbrow humor to cater to children since it was so much more. That meta humor was wide ranging and extended to not only superhero movies, specifically DC films, but the film industry as a whole. Similar to last year’s The Lego Batman movie, this film was stacked with enough DC references and easter eggs to keep diehard fans engaged. Being a superhero film, you can expect two post credits scenes with one that should satisfy diehard Teen Titans fans.
The level of animation here was nowhere near that of animation heavyweights but was still vibrant and full of detail. As mentioned, the film felt like an extended episode of the Teen Titans Go! television program and looked as such. Of course some improvements were made to get it to the big screen. The voice acting was excellent across the board and was the best part of the film as it would not have worked nearly as well otherwise. Having the voice cast from the TV series back for this film definitely helped as the chemistry these actors have made them all fun to watch here.
Overall, this was a hilarious, kid-friendly Deadpool-lite animated film that satirized superheroes and superhero movies with smart humor and plenty of fourth wall breaking. However, just like Deadpool, the humor won’t be for everyone. Ultimately, this is a film that will have enough to entertain not only fans of the Teen Titans Go! TV series but all children, adults, and diehard DC fans and is definitely one of the better offerings from DC, animated or otherwise.